The Wire


Funkadelic – Reworked By Detroiters out next month

The series on Westbound Records features remixes by Underground Resistance, Moodymann, Amp Fiddler, Marcellus Pittman, Ectomorph and others

A compilation of Funkadelic tracks reimagined and reinterpreted by a collection of Detroit producers is set to be released on Westbound Records next month. The reworks come from the likes of Marcellus Pittman, Moodymann, Gay Marvine, Underground Resistance, Amp Fiddler, Kenny Dixon Jr and others, with the release featuring tracks such as “Sexy Ways”, “Get Off Your Ass And Jam”, “Cosmic Slop”, “Let's Take It To The Stage”, “Maggot Brain” and many more.

“Funkadelic have created an enduring legacy, and the power of their impact is visceral in Detroit.” says Brendan M Gillen, the compilation's curator. “The music itself is beyond stereotype, but equally huge is that they were a black band not allowing themselves to be limited by anyone else’s notions of who they could be, having a massive impact on the next generation of Detroit music, Detroit techno. But more than just techno, it is a freedom of thinking that extends beyond boxes, so we included all sorts of today's generation of Detroit musicians and producers to show the wide range of music that was Funkadelic and how these ideas are still contemporary, they endure and inspire.”

He continues, “We are overwhelmed with how serious the remixers took this project, turning in some of their best work. “Sloppy Cosmic” by Moodymann came about because of this compilation, and that is simply one of the finest odes to the Funkateer generation ever seen, and one of his finest works, here in its purest form.”

Listen to Moodyman mix of Funkadelic's “Cosmic Slop”

Funkadelic – Reworked By Detroiters will be released on 27 October. Plus, on 22 September a 12" of “Cosmic Slop”/”Let's Make It Last”, featuring Moodymann/KDJ reworks will also be release. Pre-orders available via Ace Records.

Collection of works by Pauline Anna Strom to be released this November

RVNG Intl compile hallucinatory synthesizer works composed by the Bay Area musician between 1982–1988

This November RVNG Intl is set to publish a collection of otherworldly synthesizer works by Pauline Anna Strom. Titled Trans-Millenia Music the compilation brings together over 80 minutes of music made between 1982–1988 and is described by the label as “a collection of transportive synthesizer music providing listeners a vessel to break beyond temporal limits into a world of pulsing, mercurial tonalities and charged, embryonic waveforms.”

Raised in Louisiana and Kentucky, Strom was born blind. She would later move to the Bay Area where a childhood interest in the piano would be reignited by the synthesizer, as she developed her work at the beginning of San Francisco’s new age and ambient scenes. Inspired by the likes of Klaus Schulze, Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream, she purchased a Tascam four-track recorder and synthesizers including the Yamaha DX7, TX816 and the CS-10 and in 1982 would release Trans-Millenia Consort on Ether Ship Records.

For this release, RVNG has selected works from three LPs and four self-released cassette tapes. It features sleevenotes by The Wire contributor Britt Brown and will be released on 10 November. It can be ordered via Bandcamp.

Listen to the theatrical “Energies”. Video directed by Georgia.

Grant Hart has died

The former Hüsker Dü vocalist/drummer and Nova Mob frontman was 56

Drummer, vocalist and founding member of hardcore band Hüsker Dü Grant Hart has died aged 56, it was reported by Variety this morning. He had been diagnosed with cancer in recent months. Vocalist, guitarist and fellow songwriter Bob Mould, who founded the Minnesota rock outfit with Hart and bassist Greg Norton in 1979, paid tribute on his Facebook page: “It was the Fall of 1978. I was attending Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota. One block from my dormitory was a tiny store called Cheapo Records. There was a PA system set up near the front door blaring punk rock. I went inside and ended up hanging out with the only person in the shop. His name was Grant Hart.

“The next nine years of my life was spent side-by-side with Grant. We made amazing music together,” he continues. “Grant Hart was a gifted visual artist, a wonderful story teller, and a frighteningly talented musician. Everyone touched by his spirit will always remember... Godspeed, Grant. I miss you. Be with the angels.”

Born Grantzberg Vernon Hart in St Paul, Minnesota in 1961, he started playing drums as a child. It was during his time as a student that he formed Hüsker Dü (meaning "Do You Remember" in Danish and Norwegian, and taken from a 1970s board game) with Mould and Norton. They released their first single "Statues" on their own Reflex label in 1981. Their debut album Land Speed Record, recorded live on 15 August 1981 at Minneapolis venue 7th Street Entry, was released in 1982 by New Alliance.

Distinct from Mould’s astringent style of songwriting, Hart’s songs tended towards a highly melodic, almost power-pop sound, albeit often with acerbic lyrics. On the 1983 EP Metal Circus Hart sang lead on his compositions “Diane” and “It's Not Funny Anymore”, both of which became Dü live staples. After releasing a series of records – including Zen Arcade, Flip Your Wig and New Day Rising – which saw the group evolving from their hardcore roots while establishing a blueprint for much of the college/alternative rock of the 80s and 90s, they signed to Warner Bros, who released Candy Apple Grey (1986) and the band's final studio album Warehouse: Songs & Stories (1987).

Hüsker Dü disbanded in 1988 amid cancelled gigs and Hart’s struggle with drug addiction. Hart followed the split by issuing his solo EP 2541 and within a year he had assembled new band Nova Mob, with Michael Crego on drums and Tom Merkl on bass (Hart took on vocal and guitar duties). Named after William Burroughs’s novel Nova Express, Nova Mob released The Last Days Of Pompeii on Rough Trade in 1991 and Nova Mob on Restless in 1994.

After Nova Mob disbanded, Hart resumed his solo career, releasing Good News For Modern Man on Pachyderm Records in 1999 and, a decade later, Hotwax on Con d'Or. His most recent album was The Argument, released via Domino in 2013. A major set of unreleased early Husker Dü recordings Savage Young Dü was recently announced by Numero Group.

Le Guess Who? 2017 announces full line-up

Taking place in the city of Utrecht this November, new additions to the line-up include Dälek, Steven Warwick, and the Sai Anantam Ashram Singers performing the Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda

As announced earlier this year, Utrecht festival Le Guess Who? is set to take place in November, with a host of curators including Perfume Genius, Han Bennink, James Holden, Jerusalem In My Heart, Grouper and Shabazz Palaces. Performances by William Basinski, GAS, Keiji Haino, Pharoah Sanders, Natasha Kmeto, Linda Sharrock, Moor Mother and Matana Roberts have already been confirmed.

To complete the programme (aside from a couple of film screenings that are still to be confirmed) the following artists have been newly added to the line-up: Sai Anantam Ashram Singers performing the Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Thurston Moore Group, Sevdaliza, John Maus, Black Lips, Sudan Archives, Avey Tare, Dälek, Juana Molina, Luka Productions, Farai, Brian Case, Steven Warwick, among others. In addition, the 12 hour drone will return with Surajit Das, Lea Bertucci, Ellen Arkbro, Ben Bertrand, Roy Montgomery and Ashtoreth confirmed as participants.

The Wire’s Deputy Editor Joseph Stannard will be in attendance, hosting two Q&As on 12 November. He will speak to Kevin Martin (The Bug) and Dylan Carlson (Earth) at 2.30pm followed by Jerusalem In My Heart at 3.45pm. In addition, The Biggest Record Fair In The World – featuring over 500 labels – will once again make an appearance.

Le Guess Who? takes place between 9–12 November. Tickets are on sale now with four-day passes available at €130. Single day tickets are also available.

Copenhagen club night calls for new music made at 10 bpm

An open call has been announced for new music made at a really slow tempo

Composer and founding member of the percussive ensemble G-Bop Orchestra (featured in The Wire 390 for subscribers), Greta Eacott has put out an open call for music that plays at 10 bpm. “If I make a dance club with music at 10 bpm will anybody come? What will it sound like? Can I dance to it? Will it be enjoyable?” asks Eacott, who aims to play all the submissions at a nightclub in Copenhagen soon.

The call out reads: “We are looking for dance music producers / interested persons to make some music at 10 bpm for out inaugural 10 bpm dance club happening at the end of September 2017 in Copenhagen. Tracks don’t need to be ‘finished’, or of any particular length. Everything is welcome & will be put to the dance-floor. Only restriction is please keep to our strict 10 bpm policy. The night will last for as long as we have music for ; )”

Submission deadline is 25 September. For more information you can email Eacott or visit the Tumblr. And to get you in the mood, this is what 10 bpm sounds like:

British Library celebrates 140 years of recorded sound

A free exhibition kicks off next month looking at sound since the invention of the phonograph in 1877

Running for just over five months, a new exhibition titled Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound will kick off on 6 October at the British Library. “Just how important have the sounds of the past 140 years been to our lives?” asks the event, which sets to tell a story of sound recording and explore the importance of sound in capturing history. It will also look at radio and new technologies. Featured items are said to include rare and unpublished recordings, various sound players and recorders, as well as access to the British Library sound archive. There will also be a specially commissioned audio installation by Aleks Kolkowski and a selection of extra events such as Late at the Library: The Radiophonic Workshop and Guests; Super Sonic: A Day of Audio Adventures; writers Bella Bathurst and Erling Kagge exploring their emotional relationship to sound, and more.

Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound will run from 6 October – 11 March 2018. More information can be found on the British Library website.

Holger Czukay 1938–2017: Playing The Fool

Jason Gross recalls his madcap encounters with Holger Czukay and U-She through the 1990s and 2000s

The character of Holger Czukay, who died this week, informed his music both solo and as part of Can. Author and band associate Andrew Hall summed him up well: "A crazy genius who walked the tightrope between this state and what others saw as ludicrous insanity."

I met him several times over the years, both as friends and in connection with my zine Perfect Sound Forever. The first time was when he gleefully took up techno, collaborating with German producer Dr Walker for 1997's appropriately titled Clash. The album was followed by his first US shows, and after the New York gig, where he performed with a small keyboard, I cornered him for an interview. He spoke of Can's proudly amateurish nature and literally hiring Damo Suzuki off the street, and how multitrack recording led to the band's break-up, leading to finger-pointing about mistakes. When I asked him how he put songs together, he replied "Just by logic. You must have a vision, even with the roughest idea where this could lead to."

We talked about his favourite music, and he mentioned Eno, PiL, Bach, Schubert, Hendrix, James Brown, Stockhausen (of course), The Beatles, Philip Glass and The Velvet Underground ("my heroes"). Holger mentioned an idea he’d had, staging musical competitions, where performers who were polar opposites would engage in heated debates. Who would he take on, I asked? "Peter Gabriel! He's much too serious!"

Following our interview, I encouraged him to put up a website. Months later, I received an early morning long distance call. Holger told me to go to his new site, and I saw my own name, listed as webmaster. “You're doing my webpage!” he announced, and started throwing ideas at me about how to connect with musicians and fans. He never asked me if I was game, but I obliged, though after a few grueling months, I handed the responsibilities onto someone else. Soon after, he returned the favour, writing articles for Perfect Sound Forever about Can's history, detailing the secret between-song pauses recorded for Tago Mago, and Stockhausen's influence on his music.

I visited Germany in 1998 to meet Holger and his wife Ursula aka U-She on their home turf. We met in a Cologne hotel, went to get some Asian food (which he loved), and were whisked to his home for a tour of his studio and gadgets. He was tired, but gave U-She his blessing to go out clubbing, so we piled into a cab to see Ken Ishii perform (she danced much better than me). I hosted him in return when Holger came back to NYC around 1999 with his former bandmates to promote a major edition of Can reissues. We checked out the Anchorage club, at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge to see DJ Spooky, who didn't impress him much, but the venue piqued his fancy: "I must do my next New York show here". When he returned in 2004, he eventually played at Knitting Factory. "Hello girls and boys!" he announced when he took to the stage with a big smile.

Writing to me later, he made some interesting observations about what he saw as his role as a musician. "My function is between a DJ and an active musician,” he said. “I love to present new material and also from the past, transforming them into something different than before. I like to listen with the audience and if something turns out inadequate, I know my schoolwork still has to be done. On the other hand, when all waves are not extinguishing each other, the result can be received amazingly positive to all our satisfaction."

We never met face to face again, but continued to correspond online. Knowing that he loved "I Am The Walrus", I shared the source of radio material included at the end (a BBC King Lear broadcast). As a child of the Second World War, he fretted about the rise of the far right, insisting that neo-Nazis should be stamped out. In his last email to me, he rewrote the pop classic "Singin' in the Rain" to include alligators.

After his death I'd recall some of the stories of prankish encounters to try and comfort myself. There was an early 70s show with Amon Düül II where they were dosed up with cough syrup, and someone from Can was suspected. Holger denied it, but an associate commented: "we all know who it was…". Around the same era, Holger drove the Can van on tour through a Soviet Bloc checkpoint. When a guard searched the van, Holger asked: "You're looking for something illegal?" He then produced a huge marijuana joint. "This is what you were looking for!" He slapped the joint into the guard’s hand, insisting "Take this home to your wife – you both enjoy it and thank me!" They drove off in the van as the guard stood frozen in amazement.

After Can split up, he was in a cafe with a friend, and the management asked them to leave for making noise. They returned with dark glasses and walking sticks, pretending to be blind, and stumbled around, knocking over carts and tables – earning another hastened exit from the establishment.

But the favourite Holger story that he told me involved a phone. Acting alongside an accomplice, he applied a ketchup marinade to a handset in a public booth. While they hid watching, a man entered, struggling to find coins for his call. When he balanced the receiver on his shoulder, the marinade smeared on his face. Someone in the next booth panicked, thinking it was blood, and called for help. An ambulance arrived and the attendants dragged the reddened men onto a stretcher – he was furious at their manhandling, but they drove off with him regardless. Holger and his accomplice were hysterical. “You were a precocious teenager,” I remarked. The impish Holger, who was in his sixties when he told me the story, gleefully replied: "Actually, I did that last year!"

Anthology of misogyny in music Under My Thumb to be published this October

Following its open call for submission last year, Under My Thumb: The Songs That Hate Women And The Women Who Love Them will be published by Repeater next month

Repeater books are ready to publish their new book Under My Thumb: The Songs That Hate Women And The Women Who Love Them. Making an open call for submission in May 2016 for essays that explore the tensions that arise from loving the music that doesn't necessarily love you, the book has been compiled into 15 short essays, commissioned by Repeater's Tamar Shlaim and edited by Rhian E Jones and Eli Davies.

“Our aim is to explore the joys of loving music and the tensions, contradictions and complexities it can involve. This book is intended to be as much celebration as critique. Think of it as a kind of feminist guilty pleasures,” read the open call last year. “There are no restrictions on types of music here – we’re keen to get contributions across a range of genres, places and eras."

With contributions from The Wire Contributing Editor Frances Morgan with the essay "Where Does A Body Begin?" on Michael Gira of Swans, as well as Wire contributor Nina Power with "And Now It Hurts To Know The Truth: On "Young Girl"", about the song performed by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, and beyond. Other contributions include Zahra Dalilah with "Equality Is In The Doing Not The Saying: What Tupac Taught Me", Stephanie Phillips on "The Two Sides Of Phil Spector", the book's co-Editor Rhian E Jones with the essay "You Shouldn’t Take It So Personal: Bob Dylan And The Boundaries Of Rebellion", and many more.

Under My Thumb: The Songs That Hate Women And The Women Who Love Them will be released on Repeater this October. Pre-orders available via Hive.

Final call for CTM 2018 Radio Lab

With its central theme being turmoil, Berlin's CTM festival takes place from 26 January–4 February 2018

CTM have made a final call for submissions to their 2018 Radio Lab invitation. Now in its fifth year, the open call invites artists working in the fields of experimental music, sound art, radio art, new radio drama, and performance to submit proposals for new works that bring radio art and live performance or installation together, and which are based around this edition's central theme, turmoil.

As we detailed in a news story last July, the commissioned works will premiere at the festival and then be broadcast as part of Deutschlandfunk Kultur’s Klangkunst programme. Following that, Österreichischer Rundfunk (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) will also present the winning pieces via either Ö1 Zeit-Ton or Ö1 Radiokunst – Kunstradio radio shows, and/or the ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival in Graz. The deadline for submissions is 17 September with winners being notified late September. More information can be found on CTM's website.

Last year the open call was won by Rima Najdi with Called Happy New Fear, and Julian Bonequi with The Death Of The Anthropocene.

CTM festival will take place between 26 January–4 February at various venues across Berlin. The event will include club events and concerts as well as day time lectures, talks, exhibitions and the sixth edition of MusicMakers Hacklab. The line up of artists set to perform is due to be announced at the beginning of October.

New electronic music compilation to help Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas

Laurel Halo and Chino Amobi contribute tracks to Praxis Houston

Club producers Malcriado and Englesia have put together a new compilation, Praxis Houston, to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas and contribute to the rebuilding effort there. Artists on the release are Laurel Halo, Kareem Lotfy, Endgame, Scraaatch, Englesia, Torus, Kamixlo, Santa Muerte, Mya Gomez, Qualiatik, Dasychira, Chino Amobi, Bob Traxx, & Malcriado.

Englesia says, "100% of raised funds will be donated to the Greater Houston Autonomous Relief, a grassroots coalition of groups from the Greater Houston community coming together to offer direct support to those most impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Their mission statement is to help each other instead of relying on corporations or the state. The coalition consists of Solidarity Houston, SHAPE Center, Campaign Nonviolence Houston, Houston Peace & Justice Center, Houston Anarchist Black Cross, Black Lives Matter Houston Chapter, Resilient Nacogdoches, World On My Shoulders, & Black Women's Defense League. The funds will go through World On My Shoulders, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, and then will be allocated by on-the-ground need between organisations."

More information can be found on the campaign's gofundme site.

Listen to the compilation on Bandcamp.